Saturday, June 11, 2011

Day 9, no spending, better to have the gun and not need it, and mylar bags

It's day 9 of the 10 days of no spending.  I didn't buy anything today.  It was easy.  We didn't go anywhere.  Army daughter and son-in-law went out to dinner last night and out to lunch today, but as I said before they aren't playing the game.  The grandkids and I haven't spent any money other than the three gallons of paint yesterday.

The fascia was prepped yesterday and half the fascia was painted yesterday.  The rest was completed today.  It sure is nice having a professional painter stay for a few days.  He started caulking around some of the doors and windows.  We had 12 tubes of caulk, which surprised the painter.  "You really do have everything.  My parents said you would."  Tomorrow he's going to touch up around the doors and windows.  Then he's back to the bug-out place for the rest of the week. Maybe I'll send him up there with a tube of caulking.

Last night Army daughter had a scare.  We were all up and doing our own things when she called out for her husband.  He didn't respond.  She called again.  Nothing.  She looked for him in the house.  Checked the bathroom, bedrooms, garage.  No husband.  She went outside and called for him.  No response. She came in the house.  I can't find my husband.  He's not responding to my calls.  He didn't go anywhere, his car is still here.  We went searching for him.  Perhaps he fell and hit his head.  Perhaps something sinister?  I had my weapon out.  I noticed the neighbor's back light was on.  I went through the gate.  There was son-in-law retrieving his two yip-yip dogs who ran next door when he let them out of their kennel to put them in the garage for the night. 

Saturday is chore day around here.  The grandkids have to clean their rooms: dust, sweep,  wash the floor, and put their laundry away.  Their shelves are supposed to be neat, but my version of neat and their version of neat aren't quite the same.  Usually their version of neat prevails.  They also have two extra chores to do.  Girl raked the front yard and brought branches that the sheep had eaten the leaves off to the front of the property to continue with the branch and brush along the front fence project.  Boy raked the back yard and washed out the 3 foot plastic swimming pool that the dog and ducks share.

My chores seemed to go on and on and on.  First I mowed the front and back yards.  Fortunately for me I have a little JD tractor.  It's the smallest real tractor that JD makes.  It's a step up from a riding lawn mower.  When I bought the tractor 10 years ago I decided that I didn't need their 4000 series and the 2000 series would work.  Since I have 5 level acres I didn't think it was necessary to spend the extra money on the larger tractor.  If I had was to do it all over again, I would have bought the larger tractor, but I am happy with the baby tractor.  This tractor has a 52 inch mower deck.  It made easy work of the lawn.  It's not really lawn anyway.  It's green weeds that are starting to turn brown.  It may be the last mowing of the summer.  The grandkids hope so!  Army daughter came out when I was mowing and said that she doesn't understand why I had a gun in my pocket.  After all, I was just mowing the yard.  Nothing is going to happen where I'd need a gun.  I just told her that I hope so but it's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.  I'll just carry it around...even when I'm mowing the lawn. 

Then I hooked the small open trailer up to the pickup.  The trailer is a 5x8 foot trailer.  It has welded sides and a back panel drop down gate.  On the inside of the trailer I've wired hog panels that have been cut to fit.  I brought the trailer up to the front pasture and coaxed the sheep into the back of the trailer.  I closed it up and drove to the back yard.  I made a small enclosed area between the side of the barns and the property line.  This area is about 25x100.  The older grandsons have their project trucks parked over there but the weeks are waist high now.  The sheep should be happy in the area for a couple of weeks.  I need to set up a good water tub for them over there because right now I just have a small bucket that needed to be filled twice in the day.  That's too much effort and I don't want them to run out of water.  There is very little shade in this area.  This took about two hours to get them moved. 

Then I had laundry to do.  It was a nice day out and each load dried faster hanging on the clothesline than it took the next load to wash.

Lunch time...left overs from the last couple of days.  This is something that we typically do on Saturdays since we usually spend the morning on chores.  We don't have a lot of time to prepare a good lunch and dinner left overs are always fun.  Boy came in and exclaimed that it looked like we had a buffet (all you can eat and a big variety) lunch.  He was very happy. 

After lunch I swept the house and washed the wood floors.  Since dog likes to lay in her little swimming pool then roll around on the ground and then come in the house, the floors get really dirty.  The kids played in our new "pool", which is the cattle waterer.  We cover it up with a tarp when they aren't in it to keep the bugs out. 

Each of the adults, Army daughter, son-in-law, and friend's son have complained that the hall bathroom's shower isn't working well.  There's almost no water pressure.  I told them all that the shower head needed to be taken off because the water saver piece in it must be clogged.  It just needs to be cleaned.  They keep complaining.  I told all three that it's not my responsibility to fix it.  If they want a decent shower they need to fix it.  It will take two minutes to fix.  My shower works fine.  Fix it yourself.  Nobody has fixed it yet.  Boy and girl got their  showers tonight and neither had good water pressure. 

I took two 25 pound bags of rice and a 25 pound bag of flour out of the freezer.  I have several empty five gallon buckets in the closet.  I had just emptied a 5 gallon bucket of rice into the rice can and 2-2 gallon buckets.  It's my version of rice rotation.  I put the rice into 5 gallon buckets, then transfer it into to the smaller buckets and the can.  I put the flour into a mylar bag into the bucket, pushed out air, and ironed the bag shut.  I then put the lid on the bucket.  I got a new mylar bag out for one of the rice buckets and was hoping to reuse the other mylar bag from the rice bucket that I had just rotated.  I looked into the bag and saw little bits of light shining through.  The rice had punched a bunch of holes in the mylar bag.  I couldn't reuse the mylar bag but it got me to thinking.  How many tiny pin holes are in mylar bags?  I checked the five new bags I still had.  They all were fine.  I doubt it was defective prior to use.  It must just have been caused by the rice.  I don't know if it's because the buckets got moved from place to place and this jarring caused the holes.  Using the mylar is supposed to be an additional protection for the stored food.  As long as the buckets have their lids on, even if the bag does get a hole it will still be protected.  But using the dry ice, moisture protection, etc. isn't going to work if the food itself puts holes in the mylar.  Perhaps putting it into ziplocks and then the mylar.  I don't know.  Perhaps someone else has more experience with this?


  1. If you are storing it in 5 gallon buckets, could you just put the entire rice bag into the mylar? I'm not sure what size rice bags you are buying, but I would think that up to 10lbs would definitely fit, and you might even be able to fit a 25lb. bag.

  2. Thanks for the mylar reminder. We store also in mylar and 5 gallon buckets. We tend to store wheat berries instead of flour. It's supposed to last longer. Then the berries get ground into flour as needed.

    Army daughter's question about the gun as you mow made me think, do you have snakes? A place we go has had a rattlesnake issue lately and I think a gun would be helpful in that situation. Gopher snakes, shoo them away, but rattlesnakes need to be dealt with.

  3. I've only seen one rattler on our property in almost 15 years. It was a baby, which of course made me wonder where the rest of the family was! Snakes are one of the reasons I keep the gun on me. We had a mountain lion several years ago. Got a permit to shoot it but someone else got it first.

  4. I buy the rice in the 25 pound sack and it is about an inch too tall to fit into the 5 gallon bucket. If I take about a pound out then it will fit. Thanks for the good suggestion. We also store wheat for the long term, but I store over 100 pounds of flour at a time since I use it before it's year "best before" date.